MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - Samantha Bailey will take her German shepherd mix for a walk through her Middletown neighborhood but seldom her four kids.
“I don't want to worry that my kids are going to get caught in the crossfire,” Bailey told WCPO.
That fear following a fatal shooting in the city's south end a week and a half ago prompted Chief Rodney Muterspaw's announcement on Facebook. He's “sick and tired” of people who want to terrorize neighborhoods and he's assigned a task force to saturate problem areas starting Thursday.
The plan: clean up crime following a rash of recent shootings. Police are calling it their “zero tolerance mission.”
“They're looking for violations, they're looking for citizen contacts, and if they see a group of kids out, they're going to go talk to them,” said Major David Birk. “We're also going to do some drug enforcement, some drug interdiction Route 4 and on 73.”
Pat Herndon’s prayers were answered.
“I said, ‘Amen,’” Herndon said, joining the chorus of hundreds who commented on the chief's post.
“We need to do something. Things that are going on that are so unnecessary,” Herndon added.
The chief's zero tolerance mission will be going on with partnering agencies the next few weeks with the hope of driving out the bad element and the fear that comes with it.
“I want to be able to let my kids come outside and play without worry that we're going to have more shootings,” Bailey said. “I don't think it's too much to ask.”
The Chief’s post asks residents to contact police on Facebook or by phone.
“You can call 513-425-7749 and leave information. If you want to speak to a detective, please call 513-425-7737. If you are comfortable with a particular officer or detective, leave them a message and they will contact you privately. Whatever it takes,” he wrote.